"Tadpole, a frog does not believe that does not live according to his beliefs. I know that in the human world, it's common for human people to 'Do as I say, not as I do.' What those folks don't consciously realize is that they are asking others to follow a set of beliefs that they themselves are not willing to live by. And that's not how it's done. We must be willing to hop the hop or walk the walk if we are to have genuine beliefs that guide us. it is impossible, I think, to have core beliefs that we don't live by. If you believe, as I know you do, that children should be protected, yet you don't stand against a child abuser, then that cannot be a core belief. It simply makes you a hypocrite. it is simply not enough to say that something is important to you, you must actually live that belief every day. If you don't Irwin, then nothing you say should be believed. You have very strong core beliefs, my boy, and I see how you try to live your life by those beliefs. Humans and frogs too, who don't live by their purported beliefs are generally narcissistic in their personality. For those of us who seek authenticity, these few rules can work well.
1. Determine what is most important to you. These aren't the things that your parents told you are you learned in school. These are the things that you feel passionate about and make a list of three to five items. Take some time with this and be sure that these things are you most deeply care about.
2. Examine your life and see where it is in complete alignment with the things you care about and where there might need to be some modifications. For example, if caring for the environment is on your list but you regularly buy fast food that is packaged in styrofoam, you might want to consider eating at a restaurant that serves to-go food in recyclable packaging. If kindness is on your list, but you aren't always kind, spend a little effort trying harder to say nice things rather than spouting off the first words that come to your mind.
3. Refrain from telling others what to say, do, or believe. Everyone has a mind and let them figure out what their OWN beliefs are. It is okay, though, to help someone figure out their beliefs...but only if they ask for your help. Show them this list! Turn inward the next time you want to speak outward and tell someone who they should be. You don't like it when it's done to you.
4. Spend quiet time. While meditation is good and very helpful, it isn't everyone's "cup of tea." But there are other ways to wind down for a bit and turn out the noise of the outside world. Reading a good book, for instance, or spending time in nature are both great ways to clear your head. I like to stand outdoors and listen to the air. Before you laugh, you might try it. The silence can be beautiful. And if the wind is blowing, that has its own wonderful and unique sound.
5. Do what you say, say what you'll do. If you do something, own it and admit to it. And quit being someone who holds others to the standard you don't hold yourself to. It is better to simply do what's right then talk about it. Actions really do speak louder than words. And finally,
6. Focus on you. it can be very freeing to stop trying to "fix" others. None of us are so perfect that we can't spend some time working on our own issues. If you spend your time watching your actions and reactions, carefully choosing the words you use, you will cease having interest in "helping others improve themselves."
Dharma teaches this lesson often, and for good reason. It is one of the most valuable life lessons any of us can learn. After my wise friend left this morning, and I had cleaned up my kitchen, I decided to list my core beliefs...those things that are pretty much non-negotiable in my life. Loving and caring for the environment and helping to protect anyone or anything that is vulnerable to abuse and exploitation are two of the top things on my list. I think I do a pretty good job of living my core beliefs but, as Dharma reminded me today, there's always room for improvement.
If you can, spend a little time today listening to the air or whatever clears your head. Examine your beliefs and make sure they represent you and not someone else. This can be a very uplifting exercise and help us feel more in tune with who we genuinely are.
I invite you back here tomorrow, but until then, and as always, I wish you